Caregiver.com

For About and By Caregivers


Subscribe to our bi-monthly publication Today's Caregiver magazine
  + Larger Font | - Smaller Font



Share This Article

The Gail Sheehy Interview  (Page 5 of 5)

An Interview with Gail Sheehy

GB: So many of the eight Turnings seem to be about learning to not isolate yourself as a family caregiver. In the chapter of the book called, “How to Become a Fearless Caregiver,” we really see how the caregivers we meet along the way have different pieces of the puzzle that we desperately need as we care for our loved ones; yet our instincts are to isolate ourselves, or shut down, rather than to reach out. I am wondering why you think it is so hard for family caregivers to open up and talk with one another.

GS: The common response that I got was, ”I thought I was the only one; I thought I was crazy; I felt so alone and I really did not like the idea that I am going through something that everybody goes through—that means I am not unique.” But, I would rather know that than to think I am the only one.

GB: If you were only able to give family caregivers one single piece of advice, what would that be?

GS: You cannot do it alone. This is not a solitary occupation. If you try to be a caregiver for a loved one through months or years, even with long periods of reprieve in between, you will eventually compromise your own health, your family relationships, your social relationships, your career or your ability to work, your financial stability, your piece of mind, and find yourself in a dead end. So, the most important advice is to acknowledge, very early on, that you are playing a major life role. And it may be the role that will color your view of yourself more than any other.

 

  1 2 3 4 5